The Cubs’ listless offense was on full display last night, striking out 16 times while collecting just two hits. It wasn’t fun, but at least Jon Lester and Craig Kimbrel resembled their old selves. It’ll be incumbent upon the hitters to provide a wee bit more support tonight.
Ian Happ will lead off in center, followed by Kris Bryant at first, Willson Contreras catching, and Kyle Schwarber as the DH. Javy Báez moves down to fifth at short, Cameron Maybin is in left, and Jason Heyward is in right. Maybe J-Hey just likes batting lower, because his production merits a higher spot. David Bote is at third and Nico Hoerner is handling second base.
Maybin was feeling ill and has been scratched, so Schwarber is now in left and Bote moves to DH batting fifth. Ildemaro Vargas bats eighth and plays second while Nico Hoerner handles the hot corner. I’m really not sure how I feel about this, but it means Jason Kipnis must be dealing with something pretty significant if Ross had to shuffle things around like this.
Kyle Hendricks hasn’t looked good on the road, though his stats have been marred by some rough outings against the Reds. If he stays true to historical form, the Cubs have a shot.
Opposing them is former Cub Brett Anderson, a big lefty who lives in the 80’s. He doesn’t strike out many batters and walks even fewer, so his outs generally come via contact. He loves his sinker and uses it to generate tons of ground balls, then he’ll come with the change and slider. Cutters, curves, and four-seams will show up as well, but the sinker and change make up two-thirds of his offerings.
The Brewers have scratched Anderson with a tight right hip and will be starting lefty Brent Suter in his place. It was nice of them to stick with a southpaw, especially when it’s with a guy who figures to go three innings at the most. The bad news is that Suter has struck out eight Cubs with no walks in two appearances this season, though he did give up a homer to Schwarber.
First pitch is at 6:10pm CT on Marquee Sports Network and 670 The Score.
Cameron Maybin (feeling ill) was scratched from tonight's lineup.
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) September 12, 2020
My apologies for the tardiness and brevity of this post, but my son had a baseball tourney in which he hit his first home run. Good times.